Please come to South Miami High School on Nov. 12 to learn about the proposed Ludlam Trail and why the county should reject or demand changes in the current rezoning request by Florida East Coast Industries. Consistent with studies by Miami-Dade parks planners, Friends of the Ludlam Trail envisions a world-class linear park good for both recreation and active personal transportation.
Gov. Rick Scott is coming to Miami for a ceremonial signing of the Aaron Cohen Life Protection Act, which he already signed into law in June. It’s a perfect time to take a ride and show your appreciation to the advocates who promoted the law, the legislators who adopted it, and the governor for signing it.
The new legislation will ramp up the penalty for drivers who flee the scene of an accident with injuries. The event will be held at Crandon Marina along the Rickenbacker Causeway, where Cohen was riding when he was killed by a hit-and-run driver.
Green Mobility Network supports the Miami Critical Mass rides as being one of most important bellwethers of the rise of bicycle culture in Miami-Dade County. The rides have helped thousands of Miamians discover and enjoy bicycling, and that is a good thing. We hope everyone who participates in these rides will be considerate of all other road users. Wherever we ride, we should make safety our priority and courtesy our habit. Any rider who fails to do that obscures the fact that bicycling is a healthy activity that is good for the environment and a wholesome thing.
We urge city leaders to bring together all members of the bicycle community to engage in a constructive dialog that preserves what is special about the Critical Mass ride, while also ensuring public safety
Anyone who has to commute in Miami-Dade County knows how hazardous it can be for pedestrians. I myself have had many close calls while biking, and I’m sure our readers have dozens of tales of accidents, near-misses, and other scares (tell us about yours in the comments!). However, a new report released by Smart Growth America adds statistical backing to these anecdotes, showing us just how dangerous navigating the County can be, and underlining the need for safe reform.
The report (available here) calculated the share of local commuters who walk or bike to work, as well as the past 5 years’ traffic fatality data, to determine the most dangerous metro areas, and it appears that Florida has some real work to do: the top 4 most dangerous regions in the nation were Orlando, Tampa/St. Petersburg, Jacksonville, and Miami/Ft. Lauderdale.
Continue reading Miami-Dade Ranked 4th-Most Dangerous Metro Area for Pedestrians
When businesses work together to make their neighborhoods bicycle-friendly, they can see results in weeks or months, April Economides told the “Bike-friendly is Good Business” session sponsored by Green Mobility Network. “A bike-friendly business district is not infrastructure,” Economides said. “Safe bike infrastructure is crucial, but done separately. [Bicycle-friendly business districts] are do-it-yourself urbanism programs that business districts can build into their operations, events, and promotions, often quickly and at very low cost.”
She described her work in Long Beach, Calif., where she helped four commercial neighborhoods make their streets and individual shops more congenial to customers who don’t drive. The rationale was the already strong link between cycling and the “shop-local” movement.
Shop owners found places to install bike racks near their doors. A grant provided delivery bikes, cargo bikes, and trailers to the four districts, and participating shops use them for deliveries and for employees’ errands. The bikes are prominently parked outside by day. More than 160 Long Beach shops now give Saturday discounts to cyclists. Bicycling was integrated into existing neighborhood events via free bike repairs, bike valet, and community rides.
Economides emphasized the speed with which change could be accomplished through Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) or merchants’ associations. “It is so fast,” she said, a contrast to what’s required to gain municipal approval for street signs or other infrastructure.
The City of North Miami, where Mayor Andre Pierre has emphasized bicycling over the past couple of years, helped Green Mobility Network pay for the program. We appreciate that, as well as the hospitality of the Miami Downtown Development Authority, where the meeting was held on July 27.
To learn more about our speaker and her work, there’s a one-page flyer attached below that you can download. There’s additional information at www.greenoctopus.net.
Improvements are underway at two points along the Commodore Trail, one of Miami’s most popular corridors for runners. The trail, extending from Cartagena Circle in Coral Gables to Wainwright Park in Miami, also has many walkers and some slower bicyclists who avoid the busy roads through Coconut Grove. A big step up for the Commodore will be the new bike and pedestrian bridge across the Coral Gables Waterway. You can see the site preparation, above, just east of LeJeune Road. The bridge is being fabricated offsite for delivery in late July. Closer to downtown, masons are improving the walkway along Bayshore Drive near Aviation Avenue. This is a Miami-Dade public works project but also required Miami and Coral Gables approval.